EP Review: Nocturne – Dani Darling

Since DANI DARLING came under the NLM radar, with neo soul single, ‘2:22’ her musical direction has taken a detour – a massive detour. Her shift of direction comes in form of the six-piece EP, ‘Nocturne’.

Classic soul meets new hazy lo-fi soul, in this EP, largely in an experimental and almost stripped back setting, that’s immediately appealing. Third effort, ‘One Of Us’, displays use of sound spanning from the Golden Hollywood era, fused with a mesmerizing lo-fi hazy tone providing that four-on-the-floor pattern.

With the exception of concluding piece, ‘Stranger’, all of the singles were no longer than two-and-a-half minutes long; it’s a shame, as I would like hear more!

With her delicate vocals serving as a backdrop for the genre-bending combo, DANI DARLING proves that a great soulful piece doesn’t always have to feature the classic powerhouse performance as the main focal point. Have a listen below:

Must Listen: One of Us, Stranger

 

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Album Review: T.H.B – ThBenj

Although it’s been the third or fourth time that THBENJ has appeared on NEW LEASE MUSIC, I will always associate the Italian rapper with track ‘Mumble Acid’ because of its infectiously rampant b-line and electronic effects on the vocals that gives the extra kick to the three minute sizzler. For that reason alone, I was very intrigued to see what he has cooked up in his solo debut album, ‘T.H.B’, released late last month.

The album possess a few banging tunes that can blow off the roof of any house party through, ‘Chasing Th Day’, ‘Manipulated’ and ‘Feelin’ It’. I have to say, then delving into his new project, I was caught off guard for a moment, as the theme of the 15-track set predominantly feature a more relaxed hip-hop/urban vibe with a kick of infectious b-line, featured in tracks, ‘Paranoid’, ‘Waiting For You’ and ‘ My Prayers To You.’

The biggest surprise was the concluding piece ‘Myself Again’ – an intimate setting with the acoustic guitar taking centre stage. THBENJ switches his usual kick-ass freestyle to a voice that’s so emotive and inviting –  I DID NOT expect that at all!

I have to hand it him, THBENJ did a blinding job on this debut project and it comes to no surprise that collection has already clocked up serious attention: ‘T.H.B’ is currently one of the top-selling hip-hop albums on Google Play in Italy.

So hit that play button on THBENJ‘s ‘T.H.B’ below. If you’re seriously into hip-hop, you won’t regret it:

Must Listens: Paranoid, Mumble Acid, Waiting For You, Thank You

EP Review: This Is For You – Monti

Reflecting on her experiences – from a turbulent childhood, living on the streets, to being in a codependent relationship, geared by drugs and alcohol, LA-based power-pop singer MONTI takes back control and power through her debut EP, ‘This Is For You.’

Introducing a slight misty bed of  soft indie electro pop soundscapes, the tempo picks up with third effort ‘Shadow’, which gives off a big band-ish feel to the electro/pop combo, before reverting back to those floating tones. The star of the show is, no doubt, MONTI‘s powerfully soulful vocals, which is not only pleasing to the ears, but also invites the listener into her world of past hardships, enabling them to feel the pain she went through.

Although it’s autobiographical, ‘This Is For You’ serves as a source of inspiration for anyone to overcome any adversity in life. If this talented newcomer can rise above her troubles, surely so can you.

Have a listen to ‘This Is For You’ below:

Must Listens: Cowards Caste, Echo 

Album Review: Superposition – Kill J

What I’ve always perceived of Art – pop songstress KILL J is that she is one of the few artists who truly pushes the boundaries and places pop music to another level, often with jarring and industrious bass line and contrastingly light tones.

Her latest album, ‘Superposition’ predominantly continues with the combo, but more stripped back, making those airy soundscapes barely audible, allowing (at times) the boisterous drive and quirky rhythmic tones to shine through.

Singles, ‘Second Chance’ and ‘Stutter’ breaks the album’s main theme with a full-bodied production, thanks to the industrious foundation and electronic backdrop. Often feathery light, KILL J‘s lets go of her secret weapon and provides those breathtaking moments through a touching ballad, ‘Moon Sick’ and piano-led, ‘This Is It Rowdy’, where her octave vocal range really brings both arrangements to life.

Although it’s more minimal than what I expected, ‘Superposition’ does provide interesting moments (for example, the rhythmic tones that resembles a raindrop, through ‘Cloud Chamber’). Furthermore, the album perfectly showcases her killer vocals…something I’ve never noticed before in her previous releases.

Have a listen to the album below:

Must Listen: Second Chance, Stutter, Moon Sick, This Is It Rowdy

Album Review: Cabernet Sauvignon – Samurai Champs

When I hit the play button on SAMURAI CHAMPS‘ latest album, ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ I was expecting a trail of some trip-hop beats accompanied by a menacing b-line, a tone set by the introductory track, ‘Let Me Be Sad’.

But I stand corrected and I was pleasantly taken back as down-tempo vibe was then intertwined with different variations of chilled-out soul and R&B, topped off by a spine-tinging duet of alluring vocals and a relax flow that sometimes flares up with excitement. ‘Poseidon’ possess a vintage haziness of soul/R&B, that’s can be reminiscent of Tom Misch or perphas, Marc Ayres.

Tracks ‘Bae’ and ‘Still Mine’ contributes a lick of modern afterhours R&B which intensify the spine tingling sensation of the set. After a short run of the downtempo trip-hop pieces, the album concludes with title track, ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’, another heart melting trip-hop/afterhours number which best shows the vocal/rap duet.

With great balance between the bold and the delicate SAMURAI CHAMPS have made a massive splash with their debut collection; their efforts definitely won’t be drowned out from the rap game.

Check them out below:

Must Listens: Let Me Be Sad, Bae, Still Mine, Cabernet Sauvignon